Media statement

05 August 2016

Deputy Minister Landers concludes successful participation in the 18th Meeting of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers participated in the 18th meeting of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, which took place in Maputo, Republic of Mozambique, on 4-5 August 2016.

The South African delegation to the 18th Meeting of the SADC MCO included Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans; Mr  Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs;  and Mr Thabang Makwetla; Deputy  Minister of Correctional  Services.

South Africa is the current Outgoing Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, with Mozambique as the Chair and Tanzania the Incoming Chair.

The MCO, which comprises Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs, Defence, Public and State Security, and Corrections/Prisons from SADC Member States, meets annually to review the political and security situation in the region, progress in the implementation of its previous decisions, and the operationalization of its structures.

In this regard, the objective of the 18th Meeting of the MCO was to receive progress reports on the implementation of the decisions made at the 17th meeting of the MCO and to deliberate on the achievements, challenges and strategic issues in relation to SADC cooperation in the area of peace and security.

The MCO considered the current political and security situation in the SADC region and received reports of both the Interstate Politics and Diplomacy Committee (ISPDC) and the Interstate Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC).

The Ministers noted that the region has remained peaceful and stable due to the fact that SADC member states continue to adhere to democratic values and practices. In this regard, the MCO commended the people of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Seychelles for holding free, fair, transparent, credible and peaceful elections in October and December 2015, respectively.

Among others, the MCO considered the following issues: the review of the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ; Report on the hosting of AMANI AFRICA II and the operationalization of the African Standby Force;  Assessment of the status of the SADC Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons;  Implementation of visa  exemption among SADC countries; the SADC Strategic Plan to Combat Illegal Migration, Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking of Persons; Cross-border Poaching, Rhino and Elephant Security; and the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons.

The MCO also considered a preliminary study on the prevalence of Gender-Based Violence in the region.

The decisions taken at the MCO will be submitted for consideration and adoption at the SADC Summit scheduled for 30-31 August 2016 in the Kingdom of Swaziland.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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